WRASSES
LABRIDAE
Blackear Wrasse
Halichoeres poeyi
    Ecological Descriptors
Habitat Size (cm) Diet Behaviour Sex 
S 20 Cru, Mol, Ech Sh, Ter PGH
 
 
General:
Most wrasses are protogynous hermaphrodites, with some Initial Phase (IP) females, turning into Terminal Phase (TP) males once they reach a certain size. Those individuals who remain female in TP, retain the markings of IP. Juveniles usually have the same colouration as IP females.

Description
:
Terminal Phase: Adult males are dull green, the centers of the scales with a dull orange red spot; caudal fin with a median longitudinal and upper and lower diagonal converging
blue-edged rose bands
Initial Phase: Small individuals yellowish green with a
orange to purplish spot behind eye; a small black spot at rear base of dorsal fin
Juvenile: Pale, whitish shades with 4 dark bands on upper body and dark spot mid way along dorsal fin

Ecology
Commonly found in clear seagrass beds; uncommon on reefs or muddy bays. This species is strictly diurnal in nature and is lethargic during the hours of darkness. It feeds mainly on invertebrates such as decapods, gastropods, sea stars and sea urchins, it is assumed that sea urchins are scavnged after they are predated by larger predatory fish. H. poeyi is the only species of Halichoeres where the larvae develop internal, specialised, chromatophores.

Life Cycle:
Diandric - possessing two different types of males, a large, brightly-coloured and aggressive terminal phase (TP) and a smaller, drab and relatively non-aggressive initial phase (IP). The TP has priority access to food and spawning females. On the death or removal of a TP, the first-ranking IP becomes the next TP (after first checking the reef thoroughly to make sure the TP is gone). Forms leks during breeding. Length at sex change = 8.3 cm
Blackear Wrasse IP
Blackear Wrasse
Juvenile
149
Blackear Wrasse TP